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Discussion Starter #1
What are you guys using for powder in your .308 loads? I started out with Varget and I am still using it. I think it has worked well, and seems to be consistent. Is there something better, more consistent, stable or accurate I should be using?

I'm pushing a 168 gr. HTBP match bullet. I get good groupings with 45 grains of Varget, so that's why I'm hesitant to switch. I'm curious to know what "secret recipe" you guys are using out there!
 

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Well the loaded ammo I use for PALMA is 155grn SMK w/ 45.5grn of ADI AR2208. I will be playing with 155grn Lapua Scenars as well when I can.
 

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Yep, thats what I've heard aswell. The Scenars have a very good rep as a good, flat projectile for .308 Win.
 

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I use 45.5grs of IMR-4064 with 168gr Sierra Matchkings and 165gr Nosler Ballistic Tips.

I use this load in a Savage 10FP 26" barreled 308 with a velocity 2780 fps ( IIRC ) with the SMKs and 2827 fps with the Ballistic Tips.

This load shows no pressure signs in my gun but yours may!!!!
 

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Handloading for my Remington 700P I use four powders, Varget, Reloader-15, IMR 4064, and IMR 4895. I have tried Viht 140 but was not happy with it's performance.

My bullet of choice is the Sierra 168 gr BTHP and I use Federal 210 GM primers exclusively.

My version of the factory Federal 168 gr Gold Metal Match round is:

Bullet: Sierra 168 gr BTHP
Brass: Federal (plain not plated)
Trim-to-Length: 2.015"
Primer: Federal 210 GM
Powder: IMR 4895
Charge: 42.6 gr.
COL: 2.800" approx.
Avg Velocity: 2,655 fps
SD: 12.12
ES: 30.34
Avg Grp Size: +/- 0.5 MOA @ 100 yrds

Note: The Sierra BTHP are notorious for their variations in length, so rather then setting my seating die for a COL of 2.800", I prefer to use the ogive of the factory Federal 168 gr Match round which is 2.215". The COL may vary from round to round, but I know that the shoulder of the bullet will always be 0.020" off the lands to insure accuracy and I have no problem loading the rounds in the magazine.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Good info Trigger_Puller, I use that same bullet, I like it very much. I use the CCI BR2 primers, how would you say those compare to the 210 GM primers?

I have noticed variation in OAL, when measuring with a caliper since. I used the RCBS precision mic to find the "optimal" bullet seating depth for my rifle. I believe this measure from the ogive of the bullet. I'm seating out .010 from the lands for "safety" according to the instructions that came with it. So far it's working well, I load them one at a time since it doesn't like to load very easily from the magazine at a OAL 2.931" (using a caliper)

Should I determine the length using my precision mic and adjust my seating die accordingly?
 

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Personally, I have not experimented with primers. My objective all along was to come up with an improved version of the Federal 168 gr Gold Metal Match for my rifle.

However, I recently read an article in the December issue of Handloader Magazine titled “Developing an Accurate .308 Load” in which the author tested several different primer, bullet and brass brands. Without going through everyone, he found that out of four 5 shot groups at 100 yards using the same bullet, brass and powder charge (45 gr of Varget), the average group size for the Federal 210 GM was 0.4844” compared to the CCI BR-2 which came in at 0.7500”. Without getting into the use of Magnum primers, the Winchester WLR came in 2nd behind the Federals with an average group size of 0.513”

In regards to measuring the Ogive, I use the Hornady Overall Length Gauge in conjunction with the Hornady Bullet Comparator set. That is how I was able to determine the average Ogive of the Federal 168 gr Match round, 2.215”. Now I set my seating die (Forster) to the Ogive length of 2.215” rather than worrying about the overall length of 2.800”.

Bottom line is that I would set the die for the Ogive measurement you desire rather than the COL, it will give you more consistent loads using Sierra BTHP bullets or any mass produced bullet for that matter.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That's interesting about the primers making such a difference. I wonder what does it? I'm wondering if seating the bullet out as close to the lands as possible would help to "offset" that difference in primers?

I think I'm gonna pull out that precision mic, and check some of my rounds next time I load to see what the length is from the ogive.
 

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I started out with an old lot of H4895 and it gave me excellent results, but so did IMR4064.

I had heard all of the hype about Varget and how great it was, Iloaded it for my 700 and the results? CRAP! After talking to friends who used Varget, you had to load to about 1+gr over the max - not me - I dropped it.

When my batch of H4895 ran out, I started using RL15 and got great results with that powder.

I have since tried Varget in my PGWDTI Coyote (.308) and get good results but I prefer RL15 overall.
 

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So far my 3 best loads for my .308 vsf are:

Case: Hornady .308 match brass
Primer: CCI-Br2
Bullet: Hornady 168 grain bthp match
Powder: 43.5 grains of IMR-4064
Muzzle Velocity: approx 2650 ft/sec from 26" barrel

and

Case: Hornady .308 match
Primer: Winchester WLR
Bullet: Hornady 168 grain hpbt match
Powder: 43.5 grains of ww-748
Muzzle Velocity: approx 2650 ft/sec from 26" barrel

and most recently

Case: military WRA 67
Primer: Federal 210-GMM
Bullet: Hornady 168 grain hpbt match
Powder: 43.5 grains of new RL-15
Muzzle Velocity: approx 2700 ft/sec from 26" barrel
not tested yet


Sincerely,
Dave (Bubba) Thornblom
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Does anyone like the SMK 168 grain HPBT bullets? I like those pretty well and get good results with them.
 

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SemperFi said:
Does anyone like the SMK 168 grain HPBT bullets? I like those pretty well and get good results with them.
I do, but if you get the Nosler J4 Competitions, they shoot to the same POI and they are cheaper buy $3 or $4.

I'm going to the 175's though and wish that Nosler would make them too.
 
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